Publicacions de projectes finançats per la Unió Europea

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Publicacions resultants de les investigacions finançades pel 7è Programa Marc, pel Programa H2020 i l’European Research Council de la Unió Europea, recollides en el Projecte OpenAIRE (Open Access Infraestructure for Research in Europe) que promou l’accés obert a Europa.

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    Open Access
    Tailoring the techno-functional properties of fava bean protein isolate: A comparative evaluation of ultrasonication and pulsed electric field treatments
    (MDPI, 2024) Gulzar, Saqib; Martín Belloso, Olga; Soliva-Fortuny, Robert
    The fava bean protein isolate (FBPI) holds promise as a sustainable plant-based protein ingredient. However, native FBPIs exhibit limited functionality, including unsuitable emulsifying activities and a low solubility at a neutral pH, restricting their applications. This study is focused on the effect of ultrasonication (US) and pulsed electric fields (PEF) on modulating the techno-functional properties of FBPIs. Native FBPIs were treated with US at amplitudes of 60–90% for 30 min in 0.5 s on-and-off cycles and with PEF at an electric field intensity of 1.5 kV/cm with 1000–4000 pulses of 20 μs pulse widths. US caused a reduction in the size and charge of the FBPIs more prominently than the PEF. Protein characterization by means of SDS-PAGE illustrated that US and PEF caused severe-to-moderate changes in the molecular weight of the FBPIs. In addition, a spectroscopic analysis using Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) and circular dichroism (CD) revealed that US and the PEF induced conformational changes through partial unfolding and secondary structure remodeling from an α-helix to a β-sheet. Crystallographic and calorimetric determinations indicated decreased crystallinity and lowered thermal transition temperatures of the US- and PEF-modified FBPIs. Overall, non-thermal processing provided an effective strategy for upgrading FBPIs’ functionality, with implications for developing competitive plant-based protein alternatives.
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    Open Access
    Subpopulations of corticotropin-releasing factor containing neurons and internal circuits in the chicken central extended amygdala
    (Wiley, 2024) Pross, Alessandra; Hanafi-Metwalli, Alek; Abellán Ródenas, Antonio; Desfilis, Ester; Medina Hernández, Loreta Mª
    In mammals, the central extended amygdala is critical for the regulation of the stress response. This regulation is extremely complex, involving multiple subpopulations of GABAergic neurons and complex networks of internal and external connections. Two neuron subpopulations expressing corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), located in the central amygdala and the lateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTL), play a key role in the long-term component of fear learning and in sustained fear responses akin to anxiety. Very little is known about the regulation of stress by the amygdala in nonmammals, hindering efforts for trying to improve animal welfare. In birds, one of the major problems relates to the high evolutionary divergence of the telencephalon, where the amygdala is located. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the presence of CRF neurons of the central extended amygdala in chicken and the local connections within this region. We found two major subpopulations of CRF cells in BSTL and the medial capsular central amygdala of chicken. Based on multiple labeling of CRF mRNA with different developmental transcription factors, all CRF neurons seem to originate within the telencephalon since they express Foxg1, and there are two subtypes with different embryonic origins that express Islet1 or Pax6. In addition, we demonstrated direct projections from Pax6 cells of the capsular central amygdala to BSTL and the oval central amygdala. We also found projections from Islet1 cells of the oval central amygdala to BSTL, which may constitute an indirect pathway for the regulation of BSTL output cells. Part of these projections may be mediated by CRF cells, in agreement with the expression of CRF receptors in both Ceov and BSTL. Our results show a complex organization of the central extended amygdala in chicken and open new venues for studying how different cells and circuits regulate stress in these animals.
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    Open Access
    Cover crops terminated with roller-crimper to manage Cynodon dactylon and other weeds in vineyards
    (John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2023) Cabrera Pérez, Carlos; Royo-Esnal, Aritz; Català, Bruna; Baraibar Padró, Bàrbara; Recasens i Guinjuan, Jordi
    Using cover crops in organic vineyards can provide many advantages, including weed suppression. However, their effectiveness may depend on the weed community, the cover crop species and the termination method. The most common practice for cover crop termination is shredding, but rapid residue decomposition can allow noxious species like Cynodon dactylon to proliferate during summer and compete with the vines. The use of roller-crimpers as an alternative method can be effective in some cropping systems, but no studies have focused on their use in the inter-row of vineyards. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of seven cover crops (spontaneous, Avena strigosa, Hordeum vulgare, Lolium multiflorum, Phacelia tanacetifolia, Sinapis alba and X Triticosecale) and two termination methods (shredding or roller-crimper) in managing C. dactylon during summer. RESULTS: In 2020, rolled A. strigosa, P. tanacetifolia and the spontaneous flora limited the coverage of C. dactylon more than shredding (increases of 3% and 18% in C. dactylon cover from July to September in rolled and shredded cover crops, respectively), while in 2021, rolling was better than shredding for all cover crop species in September (5% and 18% increases, respectively). CONCLUSION: Roller-crimping cover crops was an effective method to control C. dactylon in vineyard inter-rows but it did not consistently work for all cover crops in both years. Our study is one of the first to test the efficacy of roller-crimpers to manage summer weeds in vineyards. © 2023 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.
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    Open Access
    Quantifying pre- and post-anthesis heat waves on grain number and grain weight of contrasting wheat cultivars
    (Elsevier, 2024) Kim, Jinwook; Savin, Roxana; Slafer, Gustavo A.
    Context or problem: Further increasing wheat productivity is more challenging due to consistently rising temperatures. Heat stress negatively affects both grain number per m2 (GN) and average grain weight (AGW). It is not clear whether the sensitivity of these components differ, nor whether it would be related to the relevance of the component for determining unstressed yield in the particular cultivar. Objective or research question: The aim of this study was to elucidate the plasticity of GN and AGW in response to heat waves at pre-anthesis; and post-anthesis under different source-sink ratios. Methods: The field experiments were carried out in two different locations of Catalonia (NE Spain). We selected two contrasting genotypes (Pistolo and Sublim) for the relevance of GN and AGW and analysed in detail (i) the causes for their differences in AGW and (ii) their GN and AGW responses to heat wave stress (HT). The HT treatments were imposed in the field using portable tents with transparent polyethylene films at either at booting (pre-AN HT) or 15 days after anthesis (post-AN HT) for 7 days, with a delta in maximum temperature of c. 5ºC. In addition, we increased source-sink ratios in the control and post-AN HT treatments by removing all spikelets on one side of the spike (de-graining) 14 days after anthesis. Results: Pistolo had always less but heavier grains than Sublim. The differences in AGW were constitutive, rather reflecting a trade-off with GN, as there was no scarcity of resources to satisfy the demands of the growing grains in any of the two cultivars. Exposing the crops to heat stress at pre- and post-anthesis resulted in yield penalties, but yield was more sensitive to pre-AN HT than to post-AN HT, consistently across both locations and genotypes. The reduction of GN per spike was mainly mediated through grain abortion rather than through mortality of floret primordia. The reduction of AGW caused by post-AN HT was not related to source strength changes, but due to a direct effect reducing potential grain weight (PGW) per se. There seemed to be a trend for the cultivar constitutively producing more grains having less sensitivity of GN to pre-AN HT, and for the cultivar constitutively having heavier grains having less sensitivity of AGW to post-AN HT. Conclusions: The reduction of AGW caused by post-AN HT was not related to source strength changes, but due to a direct effect reducing potential grain weight. The plasticity of a yield component in response to heat stress was inversely related to the relevance of that component for yield determination in unheated conditions. Implications or significance: Our result would open an opportunity for breeders to select for improved sink-strength through either higher GN or higher PGW depending on the timing and frequency of the most damaging heat waves.
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    Open Access
    Can traditional management practices help mountain livestock farms in the Spanish Pyrenees cope with climate change?
    (Springer Science and Business Media, 2024) Muñoz-Ulecia, Enrique; Martín-Collado, Daniel; Bernués, Alberto; Peral, Alicia Tenza; Casasús, Isabel; Villalba Mata, Daniel
    Livestock grazing systems constitute a traditional activity in mountain areas. They are adapted to vegetation growth cycles in meadows, forests and grasslands, and deliver ecosystem services such as open landscapes, wildfires prevention, biodiversity maintenance and quality products. Climate change poses a new challenge on mountain grazing systems by impacting on its natural resource base. We used the model NODRIZA to evaluate the potential impact of three scenarios of altered pasture quality and quantity due to climate change (optimistic, medium and worst) and a business-as-usual scenario (BAU) on four beef farms representative of the existing grazing systems in the Spanish Pyrenees. We explored the role of traditional management practices (e.g. modifying the grazing season and early weaning) to cope with these changes. Cow body condition score, feed self-sufficiency and gross margin were the indicators of farms functioning. The optimistic scenario improved all farming indicators during most of the modelled period and then declined—still above BAU levels—in the long term. The medium scenario resulted in an initial improvement of farming indicators and a decline to BAU levels in the long run. The worst scenario declined all indicators below BAU levels. The four case studies were impacted in the same direction but to different extent, farms oriented to fattened calves suffered higher impacts than those focused on weaned calves. Traditional adaptation actions succeeded to maintain cow body condition score steady, but they came at the expense of lower feed self-sufficiency and gross margin, becoming impractical to face climate change.